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The Electoral System

Find out more about Voter ID, polling districts and figures for local petitions.

Voter ID

All voters will have to show an approved form of photo identification before voting in a polling station. Below you will find a list of forms of ID that will be accepted. If you don’t already own an acceptable form of ID, you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate.

ID that will be accepted:

  • Passport.
  • Driving licence.
  • Immigration document.
  • PASS card.
  • Freedom pass and older persons travel card
  • The ID can be out of date (e.g expired passport is OK).

Photo needs to bear a likeness to the voter.

ID that will not be accepted:

  • Work and student passes.
  • Photocopies or pictures on mobile phones – only original documents can be accepted.

The Voter Authority Certificate (VAC)

If you do not have an acceptable form of ID you can apply for a free photo ID to vote, called a ‘Voter Authority Certificate'. Apply for the Voter Authority Certificate online.

Voter ID in polling stations

There will be private areas in polling stations for voters who need it (i.e. if you wear a face veil and don’t want to remove it in front of everyone in the room).

The Presiding Officer for the polling station must refuse to issue a voter with a ballot paper if they have reasonable doubt the ID does not look like the elector or suspect the documents are forged. Please make sure you have an up to date photo on your ID, and the name on your ID matches that on the electoral register. 

More information on Voter ID

Get the latest information on Voter ID from the Electoral Commission website.

EU Citizens’ Voting and Candidacy rights

From May 2024 the government are introducing changes to the voting and candidacy rights of EU citizens living in the UK. As a result, some EU citizens that move to the UK after 1 January 2021 will not be able to register to vote, or stand as candidates, in UK elections.

Two groups of EU citizens will retain their rights: 

  • EU citizens who were resident in the UK before 1 January 2021 
  • people that moved here after 1 January 2021, EU citizens from countries with reciprocal agreements, and who have leave (or do not require it) to remain in the UK - currently Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Spain

This does not affect voters from Ireland, Malta or Cyprus.

We will write to all our residents on the register with EU nationalities to provide full information. 

Review of Lewisham’s wards, polling districts and polling stations

Lewisham’s wards were last reviewed in 2019, and new wards came into effect in May 2022. Lewisham’s polling districts and polling places were last reviewed in 2021. Any further reviews of Lewisham’s wards or polling districts and polling places will be published in full on this page. 

Figure for a local petition

Local government petitions need the signatures of 5% of the electorate. On this page you can find out what that figure is for Lewisham.

Local Government Act 2000 Petitions and Referendums

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Referendums) (Petitions & Directions) Regulations 2000 and the Local Authorities (Referendums) (Petitions) (England) Regulations 2011, I am giving notice that the number equal to 5% of the number of local government electors shown in the electoral register for the authority's area, as of 15 February 2023, is 9,857 electors.

The number published above shall be used for verification purposes in relation to any petition presented to us in the period of 12 months beginning with 1 April 2023. [*] 

Kim Wright
Chief Executive and Electoral Registration Officer 
London Borough of Lewisham
Laurence House

[*] Where the number published in any year is less than the number published in the preceding year, the number to be used for verification purposes, in relation to any petition presented to the authority in the period beginning on the date of publication of the lesser number and ending immediately before 1 April in that year, shall be that lesser number.

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